Gas or Diesel?

The age-old question many truck buyers have been asking themselves since engines were invented. Gone are the days of the loud, stinky and smoky diesels of yesterday. Driveways across the world are now filled with efficient and sleek torque monsters that can ‘out pull’ a train. But do you really need one? Do the pro’s outweigh the con’s? Let’s dig in.

As gasoline prices continue to climb, many truck buyers are considering switching to diesel. Which historically has remained fairly consistent in its pricing. Buyers now have the option to stuff a diesel engine into just about any pickup truck including many half and quarter ton options from most top manufacturers. The main question to ask yourself before investing is: What will I be using my truck for? How far do I drive every day… every week? How often am I towing larger loads? How heavy are the loads I will tow? How cold does it get where I live? Among others.

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Simply put, diesel engines are built for low end torque and longevity. That isn’t to say that a gasoline engine doesn’t produce low end grunt and can’t last forever. To put that into context, a newer ¾ ton or 1 ton gasoline-fueled truck engine will produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-500 lb-ft of peak torque, certainly nothing to scoff at! In contrast though, a newer diesel-fueled truck engine in the same truck will produce upwards of 1000 lb-ft of torque in some configurations. Is that really necessary? For most no, but for some definitely yes – and for others the answer is simply: Why not? Lol.

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So what are the advantages to a gas engine? Well, aside from a lower initial purchase price, and a lower maintenance cost, and a lower repair cost… There are actually some performance benefits as well. A gasoline engine will start easier in cold weather, it will produce more heat quicker inside the cab of your truck, and for those of you interested in mounting a snow plow to the front, the lighter weight of the motor means once that heavy plow is attached you’re not overloading your front end components.

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Advantages to a diesel? No doubt a diesel engine will out-pull a gas truck, and provide better fuel economy in general. Diesel engines are also famous for their longevity, a couple of hundred thousand kilometers on a diesel motor is a drop in the bucket, with countless stories of motors surpassing 1,000,000 kilometers with only small repairs or rebuilds along the way. Diesel engines also provide many options for tuning performance, either towards improving economy, tow capacity, or power. Taking advantage of the myriad of programmers available on the market is just the tip of the iceberg, getting into emissions system modifications, or even turbo upgrades can all vastly improve the fuel economy or torque of a diesel engine. This performance comes at a cost though, a diesel engine is at least a $10,000.00 option in most heavy duties, which ultimately leads us to a question only you can answer: Knowing there are advantages to both gas and diesel, which solution is the best for your own personal circumstance?

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Feel free to cruise through our selection of gas trucks and diesel trucks to get a feel of what’s available in today’s market, and how prices between the two compare. And don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our Auto Show staff here if you’d like some help talking through which option might suit your needs best – we’re all here happy to help!

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